January 6th, 2022.
I note with deep concern and some bewilderment, this Government’s half hearted, loosely organized approach to declare the public service a ‘ quasi-safe zone’.
These concerns emerge particularly because of reports that public servants are being asked to submit their vaccination cards in order to be paid their due salaries.
It is my view that this new requirement which is unconstitutional is a flagrant, obscene and sinister abuse of the Industrial Relations Act, the Collective Bargaining Process and the terms and conditions of employment of public officers.
Surely, the Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, the Attorney General Faris Al- Rawi and Minister of Labour Stephen Mc Clashie cannot be serious in their intent to disregard the legal parameters of employment of public servants.
Furthermore, the Government has failed to legally define what is meant by the term ‘ quasi-safe zone’ in the context of the public service and has failed to effectively communicate same with public servants and their recognized majority trade unions.
What are the laws which must be amended to facilitate the creation of this PNM ‘quasi-safe zone’? What are the processes that must now be adjusted? Will all new vacancies be advertised with a vaccination requirement? Will all upcoming promotions be based on a vaccination requirement?
Additionally, we note reports that some public offices are not being provided with sanitizers, soap, personal protective equipment, nor are they enforcing social distancing, contact tracing and mandatory sterilization of workplaces.
Additionally, the Government committed to ensuring that it accepts responsibility for the death or harm caused to any public servant who took the vaccine to fatal or near fatal side effects.
Public servants are being told that they would be paid only upon submission of their vaccination cards and the United National Congress is guiding all public servants to report for work and to demand in writing from their respective Permanent Secretaries or Heads of Departments the reason/s as to why they are being debarred entry into their workplaces.
We stand with all public officers whose just salary is being held as hostage by this anti-working class government because of its own failure to manage the Covid-19 virus and call upon the Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh to produce the evidence or data to substantiate his allegation that fake vaccination cards are being sought by the public servants. This is a red herring and true distraction by the Minister of Health and if he is unable to produce the evidence or data to substantiate this allegation, then he must “shut up“ and concentrate in his Ministry’s effort to decrease both the death and infection rates and must apologize to the public servants for impugning their integrity and character.
This is a pure propaganda and deception on the part of the Minister who must take full responsibility for the pain, trauma and lack of communication with the families of the two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-three (2,973) families of the citizens who have died as a result of the Covid-19 Virus.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR COUVA SOUTH AND SHADOW RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR and TOBAGO AFFAIRS 681-2525, email@example.com